Travellers in managed isolation say they are yet to be swabbed for Covid-19 after more than 10 days in facilities, despite new measures introduced at the start of last week requiring testing on days 3 and 12.
One man who has recently left an Auckland facility told the Herald the experience was like playing Russian roulette, meanwhile others still in facilities say they are surprised testing appears to be voluntary.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has this afternoon announced assistant chief of defence Air Commodore Darryn (Digby) Webb will now oversee all quarantine and isolation facilities, including an audit of the system and written protocols to ensure they are fully implemented.
The announcement was made after two women who flew into the country from the UK were allowed to leave their managed isolation on compassionate grounds without being tested, on the condition that were swabbed on arrival in Wellington.
Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has taken responsibility for "ensuring this does not happen again" and said the women should have been tested before they left the facility at Novotel Ellerslie in Auckland.
Ardern said tests for the women on days 3 and 12 should have happened and there were "no excuses".
But the two women aren't the only ones who weren't tested when they should have been.
A New Zealander who arrived in the country on June 6 from Hong Kong told the Herald he was yet to be tested for Covid-19 despite being more than 10 days into the isolation period.
The man said his temperature was checked daily and he was asked health questions from nurses.
He told the Herald he understood the Covid-19 tests were voluntary, which surprised him.
Another Kiwi who returned home on June 6 also confirmed he has not been tested for Covid-19 but has been told he will be swabbed on day 12.
Ardern said in a press conference this afternoon she could absolutely rule out a testing resourcing issue.
"We have the ability to undertake thousands of tests, we were advised that not one but two tests were taking place of those who were in managed facilities."
Adern said she believed the Government does have the legal authority to require people to be tested.
"But we also have the ability to put people into quarantine and isolation so regardless, we have the ability to keep other New Zealanders safe through those measures.
"We need to keep in mind the reason we've had both at the border is because testing can provide a false negative. The most cautious approach has always been one of isolation for 14 days, which is why that is what we had at our border and still have at our border," she said.
Another man told the Herald he left managed isolation on June 9 and was not tested for Covid-19.
"I would have thought that they were testing people but they didn't. They just took my temperature and asked how I felt."
The man, who did not want to be named, said the facility was like Russian roulette.
"I could arrive day one and someone across from me would be leaving five days later and then someone new would turn up, so there was always a cross over."
"Effectively as I'm leaving, I could be bumping into someone else on their week one."
He claimed people gathered together to smoke outside did not observe physical distancing.
Furthermore, he said an early morning fire alarm meant people were clambering down stairwells in close proximity to one another.
David Gollan who flew in from London on May 30 said he was staying at the same hotel as the two women who drove to Wellington before testing positive for Covid-19.
He also understood the Covid-19 tests at managed isolation facilities were not compulsory.
"But I wanted to make sure that I was okay so I agreed to it as did most people."
Gollan said he was very impressed with the hotel's operation of the facility.
"I cannot believe that they allowed those two women to leave without even testing them because to me that just doesn't ring true to my experience at the hotel.
"It does surprise me and I feel sorry for those people who work in that facility who did a good job. It's just sad that those people have been let down by God knows who."